Architects: Mad arkitekter
- Area: 5500 m²
- Year: 2021
Manufacturers: Cembrit, Schüco, Spenncon
Lead Architect: Mgnus Asker Pettersen
- Supervising Partner: Jonny Klokk
- Project Architect: Kimberly Wolf
- Main Architect: Sandbakk & Pettersen AS
- Construction Engineer: Tømmerdal Consult AS
- City: Ålesund
- Country: Norway
Text description provided by the architects. Pir is located on the harbour front of Ålesund, Norway. In 1904 the town was devasted by fire, destroying nearly all the historical wooden buildings. The city was rebuilt over the next three years with stone and brick in the Art Nouveau style, resulting in the town today having a homogeneous architecture.
In Ålesund there is a local saying that ‘the nicest view is the one you cannot see’ as it is of the house that you are sitting in. The region is also famous for its scenery and natural beauty, and as a result, it was fundamental that the project is developed in such a way as to provide users with a spectacular experience of the surrounding area. Pir’s rigid concrete structure stands in stark contrast to the organic shapes and pointed towers of Ålesund’s otherwise consistent Art nouveau style.
Pir is first and foremost a coworking space, occupying the first and second floors, with the ground floor housing a large event space, bar, restaurant, and reception. The third and fourth floors are home to the law firm Kvale and the Sunnmørsposten regional newspaper respectively. While a conference centre is located on the fifth floor, along with smaller offices and a rooftop terrace.
Ålesund has a very lively colour palette, and we wished to honour this through the design of the project. The repetitive, colourful, and expressive facade, complements the Art Nouveau style while the concrete elements are designed to be full of depth and character, reflecting the ornamentation of the Art Nouveau buildings.
The concrete structure, produced by Spenncon in nearby Hjørunvang, is pigmented with a red colour from Bayferrox. This allows the concrete to change with the elements, going from a dark red when it rains, to almost light pink in direct sunlight. The coloured concrete is also featured in the building's main staircase.
In contrast to Pir’s strict exterior, the interior, created by interior architects Sane, is warm and varied. Pir strives to be a workplace experienced with the atmosphere of a home. The interior is durable, utilising a robust and extensive material palette. There is a great variety of atmospheres where, just as in a home, furnishings adapt to the interior, with each space furnished differently. The same applies to the project's lighting and colour schemes. Clear principles for layout, content, and lines of sight were fundamental for the technical planning of the building.
The project prioritised the use of local manufacturers, products, and materials aiming to support Norwegian companies and designers. Mad arkitekter was engaged to design the new building's facade, with Sane designing the interior concept.